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Dirt is Good for You: True Stories of Surviving Parenthood Paperback – Bargain Price, September 9, 2009

3.6 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

With over 1.5 million unique readers per month, Babble.com is the premier online magazine for a new generation of parents. Babble recently won Folio's 2008 Silver Eddie Award for Best Website.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books (September 9, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811871185
  • ASIN: B004JZWPTQ
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,309,376 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Rhianna Walker VINE VOICE on October 4, 2009
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
It isn't often I feel overly critical or snarky toward people writing about parenting. It ain't an easy job and until babies are born with instruction manuals tied around their ankles the phrase "bad parent" can't in good conscience fly from my own lips. But when a group of self-proclaimed "bad parents" come together to contribute to a book of anecdotes about their experiences as moms and dads I expect to be reading something that has humor, a little poking fun at the misjudgements we make as parents and something a little uplifting to remind the reader that the experience of parenting may not be flawless but can make one a better person.

Instead of being uplifting or even encouraging, DIRT IS GOOD FOR YOU, collects tales from what practically reads like the same author over and over and over. Whines about the standards of "normal" parents, groans about being stay-at-home parents and moans about the kids themselves vie for the crown of worst parent ever. But are these parents really that bad? Only in their own minds.

Not every tale is without wit or humor, I found a couple of them to be amusing and even endearing. On the whole though these authors just honestly digusted me. I can only think of one who actually sounded as if they were not some Manhattanite free-lance writer engaging in masturbatory overindulgence of the ego. Where are the real moms and dads? Sure, some of these woes are very real. Fretting over a child who only eats macaroni and cheese or struggling to bond with a newborn are very real, very common issues. But do these make the writers bad parents? Even the woman breastfeeding a child old enough to be lifting her shirt and demanding his 'nah-nahs' isn't so horrid, though I personally found it a bit disturbing.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I was expecting some really shocking stories about parenting when I read this book's description. But, really, these stories are relatively tame. (Although, a story by Jennifer Baumgardner about letting her friend breastfeed her child did kind of gross me out.) I agree with other reviewers that most of the parents who wrote for this book seemed to make a big deal over nothing. Is it so strange that a person would be disappointed at first by a surprise pregnancy? Or that a parent doesn't use all the proper medical terms for body parts when potty training her young daughter? Further, even when the parents express "wrong" emotions or thoughts, most wrap up their essays with a cheery little "but all's well that ends well" message. Overall, this book was disappointing and even boring. For a more thoughtful, humorous collection of essays on parenting, I would recommend _Because I Said So: 33 Mothers Write About Children, Sex, Men, Aging, Faith, Race, and Themselves_.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Have you ever been trapped in a conversation with a parent who spews endlessly about how their way of parenting is the best? Someone who takes their views to extreme? I had that same feeling when I was reading this book.

Not all chapters are braggy and annoying, but enough are that I didn't enjoy the book. I was expecting lighthearted stories about parenting. That's not what I got out of it.

If I wanted to hear people bragging about not letting kids disrupt their lives or people bragging that they let their kids do whatever they wanted, I'd join another playgroup.

While I found some stories refreshingly honest, I feel that most were exaggerated in an attempt to be different from every other parent out there. As one author put it "We don't celebrate Average Joe or Jane. We're bored with Average. We pity it." Perhaps that's the need many of these parents had for one-upping traditional parenting views.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Parenting can be exciting, scary, frustrating, and stressful--and everything in between. This book tells those stories. And they're told by very good writers who make you want to write all your own stories down for posterity, although you know yours won't turn out nearly as well.

Are some of the stories outrageous? Yes.
Do some of them hit home? Yes.
Are some of them crazy? Yes.
Do some of them sound like you could have written them? Probably.
Should this book be read and enjoyed as a comedic break from parenting? Sure.
Might you glean some helpful thoughts from this book? Sure.
Should this book be taken as advice? No.

I do like that the stories are short--something you can read quickly and easily in between the hundreds of things you have to do as a new parent, being exhausted, and needing a small break.

I would recommend getting this book and sharing it with all your other new mom (or, heck, old mom friends!) because once you read it, there is no reason to keep it (i.e. it's not a reference book or self help book by any stretch of the imagination), so it is a good book to pass around--share the wealth, so-to-speak.
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Format: Paperback
I got this book for Christmas from my mother-in-law. I did enjoy the book, there were some stories that I did not agree with the feelings of the author, but that's okay! That is what the book is about. Other peoples "dirt". I have felt the same in some of the situations that I read about, (ie. the chicken nuggets, the cereal for dinner, and maisy mouse). I loved reading this book because I got other peoples parenting perspectives (even if I did not agree with all of them) without have to ask embarrassing questions, risk looking like a weirdo or bad parent. I have reread several of the stories.
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